Swing Bridge

You were always the one
to jump and push
against the ropes,
leap three boards
at a time,
keeping us all swinging
breathless, exhilarated.

That day we all clustered
in the middle,
arms around each other
peering over the sides
the gully below,
a warm huddle of bats
hanging confidently.

The coarse twine
marked your hands
as you climbed,
went over,
we yelled NO
we yelled PLEASE—
it was your will.

Our huddle broke,
we scattered,
each taking a board,
leaving a wide,
deep leap across.

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